it ws just another freshmen prank at the segregated campus of South Africa’s University of the Free State, another silly film to place on the Internet or YouTube about freshmen initiation practices. Two white students, Roelof Malherbe and Schalk van der Mersw, filmed a mock freshmen initiation of five black cleaners who worked for their group. In one scene, a student is whon urinating into a bowl of soup before it is apparently served to the cleaners. Four middle aged women and a man, are shown forced to run a race, play rubgy, and down beer. The film ends with a caption in Afrikaans that reads: “At the end of the day, this is what we really think of integration.”
The boys belong to Reitz hostel, a group of bungalows in the verdant campus of the university that is named after a Boer leader. African students are furious and one told reporters: “There is going to be fighting. The blacks are going to get their revenge for those ladies. We’ve had many race riots here and now there will be more. The Free State is the mother of apartheid.”
Reitz residence head, Christo Dippenaar, believes the entire problem of white-black conflict can best be resolved by playing rugby with one another. He emphasized in defense of the white students: “If any harm was done, we as a hostel are sorry. But the guys who made the video are my brothers, so I’m not going to say it was good or bad.”
If Mr. Dippenaar is the spokesman for white South Africa, whites are in for trouble. His comments are offensive and racist. In 2007, the university senate passed a motion to integrate hostels with a 70-30 ratio which apparently is beginning to happen in female hostels. Male hostels remain 85% white and 15% black.
It is sad after nearly two decades of attempting to create a multi-racial South Africa, there are still immature students at universities who don’t know the difference between fun and degradation of people.